Major Khalil-ur-Rehman Shaheed (10 April 1949) | By Brig Tariq Khalil (Retd)

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Major Khalil-ur-Rehman Shaheed (10 April 1949)

IN April 1949 Royal Pakistan Engineers were converting foot track to Kotli for the movement of vehicles and troops in the sector.

Mines floating down river were to be removed and hillside was being blasted to make track for vehicles.

Major Khalil was Company’s Commander with Lt Farooki (later E-in-C) and a Subedar.

They were inspecting the site.Due to blasting suddenly the hillside started collapsing and a landslide got triggered.

Lt Farooki and the Subedar (name not remembered but his son rose to become Brigadier) ran to save themselves.

Major Khalil assessed the slide will fall away. Unfortunately it was not so and Major Khalil embraced Shahdat, and left behind his wife and four sons.

His body could be retrieved after three days of gruelling efforts by the engineers and the troops reinforced.

Due the deteriorating condition he was buried at the site where temporary bridge was laid by him.

The bridge was named after his name as Rehman Bridge. This bridge got washed and a new bridge was laid during 1965 war.

In 1992 RCC Bridge was constructed by AK Govt when it was inaugurated by President of Pakistan Ishaq Khan and Army Chief General Asif Nawaz.

In 1950, Major Khalil was awarded Tamgha Pakistan posthumously. Major Khalil was commissioned in 1942 in PR/33 during WW-II (15 Punjab Mohammdi).

He was transferred to Engineers since British officers Khadim left. As a young officer he participated in Burma campaign.

During late 1944 he was Incharge of troop movement in Darjeeling, Assam, now in India.

Later he served as staff officer in the Brigade at Patna and before partition he was posted in Calcutta.

At the time of partition he opted for Pakistan Army and was transferred to newly formed GHQ.

He was Incharge of the special train from Calcutta to Rawalpindi. On departure of British officers in 1948, he was transferred to Royal Pakistan Engineers due to shortage of engineer officers as Pakistan Army was going through transition at the time.

His grave and monument are being maintained by 23 Division now on top of hill at Rehman Bridge on Punch River, Kotli, AJK.

—The writer is son of Maj Khalil-ur-Rehman.

 

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